Guidance for businesses who place certain products on the Northern Ireland market from 16 July 2021
From 16 July 2021, the EU Regulation on Market Surveillance and Compliance of Products 2019/1020 (EU Regulation on Market Surveillance) applies in EU Member States. It replaces the market surveillance provisions in the Regulation on Accreditation and Market Surveillance 765/2008 (RAMS).
For the duration of the Northern Ireland Protocol (‘the Protocol’), EU rules relating to goods will apply in Northern Ireland (NI), including the EU Regulation on Market Surveillance. Although it is a new Regulation, it replaces an existing obligation which forms part of the Protocol.
It does not apply in Great Britain (GB) where RAMS (as retained in UK law and applicable in GB) continues to apply. Article 4 of the EU Regulation on Market Surveillance requires that for certain products to be placed on the EU market, there must be an economic operator based in the EU responsible for compliance tasks.
Otherwise these products cannot be placed on the EU market. For the duration of the Protocol, Article 4 applies to the NI market. This guidance sets out how Article 4 applies to the NI market.
There are various ways to meet the requirements of Article 4, and most UK businesses will likely have sufficient arrangements in place. If adjustments are needed, this guidance outlines what to do. This guidance is particularly relevant to those who sell products online directly to consumers in NI (rather than via bricks and mortar shops).
The European Commission has also published guidelines on the practical implementation of Article 4 in the EU. Enforcement of the EU Regulation on Market Surveillance will continue to be proportionate, risk-based and intelligence-led, minimising disruption to business.
Regulatory checks on goods entering NI will continue to take place by exception, and only where there is a high level of risk. The vast majority of regulatory activity will continue to take place away from points of entry after goods have been placed on the market.
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